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Strengthening the prevention of and fight against forced marriage

“Forced marriage is a serious human rights violation. It involves a series of violent acts against, primarily, women and girls – but also men and boys – and violates their rights to physical integrity, physical and mental health, sexual and reproductive health, education, private life, freedom and autonomy,” said PACE today, adopting unanimously a resolution on the basis of the report by Béatrice Fresko-Rolfo (Monaco, ALDE).

The adopted text indicates that every day throughout the world, 39 000 young girls are married before reaching the age of majority – more than one third of them are younger than 15 – and all countries in Europe are affected, whether in the form of forced marriages concluded in Europe, or forced marriages of European nationals or residents concluded elsewhere.

The Assembly called on member States to include the fight against forced marriages in their national policies to prevent and combat violence against women, and proposed a set of measures to prevent this practice, protect victims and prosecute the perpetrators. The adopted resolution also calls for forced marriage to be criminalised, as well as luring an adult or a child abroad for the purpose of forcing him or her to enter into a marriage.